Our Criminal Department has more than 40 years experience in representing accused persons in Scottish criminal courts.
We appear daily in the Justice of the Peace Court, the Sheriff Court and the High Court of Justiciary. We represent people throughout all the relevant stages of a prosecution from the initial police investigation, to charge and prosecution, and court process thereafter.
We are registered with the Scottish Legal Aid Board to provide assistance in criminal cases and have extensive experience in applying for all types of legal aid throughout the entire range of criminal offences. The granting of Legal Aid is often dependant upon the accused person’s financial circumstances.
Contact with a Solicitor prior to contact with the Police
If you are aware that the Police suspect you of any alleged offence, it is vital that you obtain proper legal advice in advance of speaking to the Police. If the Police are investigating you as a suspect in relation to an offence, they will want to discuss their investigation with you and potentially interview you under caution regarding the alleged offence. It is essential that before you speak to the police, you are made aware as to what is required of you legally in speaking to them, and also what your rights are as an accused person. The right time to obtain advice regarding an alleged offence and police procedure regarding investigation is at the beginning of such investigation and before the police actually speak to you. As a firm, we can be contacted at any time for such advice to be given by either telephone or by person at either of our offices. Please contact any one of our Solicitors for urgent advice or telephone either one of our two offices.
Contact with a Solicitor at a Police Station
If you are arrested and detained at a police station in respect of any matter, or if you are arrested and charged and kept at a police station to appear in court, you have the right for a solicitor to be contacted. If you are a suspect and you are detained for questioning, you are entitled to have a solicitor of your choice to be contacted by the Police. The Solicitor will be made aware of your status and the reasons why you are in a police station. If you are to be interviewed by the Police in respect of any matter, you are entitled to receive advice from a solicitor prior to that interview and to have a solicitor present with you at such interview. The importance of advice prior to interview by the police cannot be exaggerated. If on the other hand you have been charged and detained to appear in court at the next available court day, then a solicitor will be able to attend to meet with you and discuss your status, potential details of the case and the likely outcome of your court hearing. A solicitor will make contact with your family members at your request and confirm any details which you wish them to be told. Your confidentiality will be protected at all times. If you are involved in any of the circumstances outlined above, request a solicitor from Finnieston Franchi and McWilliams and we will at the very least speak with you over the telephone prior to interview. In the majority of cases, a solicitor will attend at the police station upon your request, if able to do so.
Release from Police Station on an Undertaking for a court appearance
In some situations, the police can charge an accused person with a particular offence, and thereafter release that person on an undertaking to attend court on a specific date.
The Police have the authority to do this in respect of a number of offences. The decision to release a person on an undertaking is something that is usually the responsibility of the Duty Inspector in charge of the relevant police station custody suite on that particular day.
If you have been released on an undertaking to attend court then please contact our office urgently for an appointment. This will allow us to give you advice regarding the charge and further procedure at court. It is imperative that you are aware of what procedures will follow at court when you attend at your Undertaking.
We can be contacted at any time to arrange an appointment for such advice.
Criminal Trials in Scotland
Criminal Trials in Scotland can proceed before a single Judge in the Justice of the Peace Court and in the Sheriff Court. Trials can also proceed before a jury in the Sheriff Court and the High Court of Justiciary. This depends of course on the level of seriousness of the allegation against the accused.
We have extensive trial experience in the Justice of the Peace Court, the Sheriff Court and in the High Court of Justiciary. The consideration of the evidence against the accused, the admissibility of evidence against the accused and the advancement of the accused position is of paramount importance for the proper preparation of any criminal trial. We have an experienced and understanding group of solicitors who will ensure your rights as an accused person are protected and that your defence is advanced properly. We deal with a wide range of offences, from minor offences to the most serious solemn matters. Each case is given complete professional consideration and each accused is given proper professional representation.
Please see our individual solicitors for their experiences and contact either one of them directly for an appointment to discuss any issue you have in criminal law.